Internships, Exit Interviews, and Advisory Boards
Val E. Limburg Washington State University
The three functions identified for this chapter are those elements of an education that serve as links to the profession, and for the student, "job getting." Without a proper understanding of various facets, advantages, and disadvantages of internships, exit interviews, and advisory boards, neither the faculty member nor the student will be able to bring to full circle the critical tasks of education -- assessment and application.
Before even entering a communication program, students often learn that they cannot enter the profession without experience. This may be why they have chosen a program: It offers experience. Their attempts to jump from high school to a "boss jock" in the city's radio station, or anchor at the local TV station, or any responsible positions in public relations or advertising are met with knowing nods and the simple admonition: "Get your college degree." Then, after grinding through all the demanding courses, with degree in hand, the graduate is told, "Sorry, we can't hire you without experience." It is frustrating for the student to learn that the degree is, in a pragmatic sense, worthless, and discouraging for faculty to see that it is so perceived ( Meeske & Sullivan, 1989; Renz, 1988). This is a basic reason that programs in communication have established professional internships. At the same time, a true liberal arts education need not be overlooked (see Blanchard & Christ, 1993a, 1993b; Durham, 1992; Eastman, 1987, 1993;